An Overview of Power Query in Excel

In Excel, Power Query is an add-in that provides a user-friendly interface for data discovery, transformation, and enrichment. It can be used to access data from a variety of sources, including relational databases, cubes, flat files, and web services. Once data is loaded into the Power Query interface, users can transform it to meet their specific needs.

Power Query is a game-changer for data analysis. It provides a quick and easy way to access and transform data, making it a valuable tool for both analysts and business users.

Open Power Query in Excel

If you’re using Excel 2010, you can find it under the Power Query tab.

In Excel 2013 and later versions of Excel, it’s under the Data tab, in the Get & Transform Data group.

If you don’t see the Power Query tab or Get & Transform Data group, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

To check your version of Excel, choose File ⋙ Account ⋙ About Excel.

If you don’t have at least Excel 2013 Service Pack 1 installed, you need to install it.

Once you have Power Query, open it by going to the Power Query tab (Excel 2010) or the Get & Transform Data group (Excel 2013 and later versions).

Use Power Query in Excel

To get started using Power Query,

Step_1: Go to the Data tab in Excel.

Step_2: Then click on the Get Data button.

From here, you can select to get data from a variety of sources, including files, databases, and web services.

Use Power Query in Excel

Step_3: Once you have selected your data source, Power Query will launch and you can start transforming your data. For example, you can filter rows, split columns, and merge tables.

Step_4: When you are done transforming your data, you can load it into an Excel worksheet or save it as a Power Query file.

Availability

Power Query is available as a free add-in for Excel 2010 and 2013. For Excel 2016 and later versions, it is built-in.

To install it in Excel 2010 and 2013, please follow the instructions below.

Step_1: Go to the Power Query Download page.

Step_2: Click the download button for the appropriate version of Excel.

Step_3: Once the download is complete, open the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install Power Query.

Step_4: After installation is complete, Power Query will be available in the ribbon under the Data tab.

Pros and Cons of Power Query

While Power Query is a great tool, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider.

PROS:

  • Imports data from a wide variety of sources: It can connect to data sources including CSV files, Excel workbooks, SQL databases, and more. This makes it a versatile tool for importing data into Excel.
  • Manipulates data easily: Once data is imported into Power Query, it’s easy to manipulate using the various transformation options. For example, you can split columns, merge columns, pivot data, and more.
  • Saves time: It can save you a lot of time when compared to manually importing and manipulating data in Excel.

CONS:

There are a few drawbacks of using Power Query in Excel.

  • It is only available in Excel 2016 or later versions. If you are using an earlier version of Excel, you will not be able to use Power Query.
  • It is not available in Excel for Mac.
  • Power Query can be slow when working with large data sets.
  • It can be difficult to learn and use if you are not familiar with it.

Conclusion

Microsoft Power Query for Excel is an add-in that enables you to discover data and define and shape it for further analysis in Excel. Power Query is a game changer for data analysis. With Power Query, you can shape their data the way you want with just a few clicks.

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